Leafing Through Pages: Analysis of Sports and Other Topics

11/24/2009

A Look At Mouse Davis’ Run and Shoot Offense Playbook from the 1984 Houston Gamblers

In looking over Mouse Davis’ original Run and Shoot Playbook from his tenure as the 1984 Houston Gamblers head coach, here are some tips and notes I came upon.

General Notes
- Always draw up any pass package against 3 deep coverage (Cover 4 look with 1 deep safety).
- A lot of motion is used to help the QB and receivers determine whether the coverage look is man or zone based. Note that with recent developments/complexities in defenses, may not be as advantageous.

Blocking Terminology
Ace – Double Team block by G and C on man (NT or DT) lined up over C.
Cal – C blocks LB.
Cob – G pulls back to block NT/DT lined up over C. C then pulls around G and blocks LB.
Combo – OT and W or Y receiver wall off DE and LB.
Deuce – Double Team block by G and T on man (DT or MLB/ILB) lined up over G.
Dog – Used in Short Yardage/Goal Line situations. Double Team block by C and G play is aimed towards on man (DT/MLB/ILB) lined up over G.
Dot – Used in Short Yardage/Goal Line situations. Double Team block by C and G play is not aimed towards on man (DT/ILB) lined up over G.
Dudad – Combo Block by G and T on a DE/DT and a LB.
Drive – A bull rush block man on man aiming to drive through the opponent’s numbers. Key block technique in the running game.
Four – Double Team block by the TE and W receiver.
Gee – Combo Block by TE, T, and G. TE and T block against the grain (i.e. block left when play goes right and vice versa) and G pulls out to take on the SLB.
Help – Occurs in pass situations. RB has to block outside while the OL blocks the gaps.
Slip – General term for Combo block by 2 blockers on 1 DL and 1 LB.
Solid – General term for man on man blocking.
Trey – Double Team block by T and TE on man (DE/OLB) over the T.

Major Coverages Faced
Cover 4 Invert: Generally out of a dime (5 DB) package with only 1 safety back deep. The 5th and 6th DB play along the linebackers line.
Cover 4 Buzz: Generally out of a 4-3 package with only 1 safety back deep. The SS takes over for a LB and plays at essentially what looks like a 4-4-3 defense.
Cover 4 Cleo: Generally out of a 4-3 package with both the FS and SS playing deep. The SCB plays tighter on the WR while the WCB plays shallower.
Cover 4 Across: Generally out of a 3-4 package with both the FS and SS playing deep. Utilized against streak routes as all 4 DB drop back.
Cover 4 2: Generally out of a 4-3 package with both the FS and SS playing deep. Both CB play tight up on their respective WR.
Cover 4 5: Similar to the 4 2, however, the big difference is that the WLB and SLB play tight up on the W and Y receivers.
Cover 4 1: Generally out of a 3-4 package with a FS playing deep. LILB has option of blitz/zone drop while SOLB blitzes. SS plays up slightly along ILB lines.

Blitz Terms
Cat – MLB and WLB blitz at the same time.
Smack – MLB and SLB blitz at the same time.

WR Routes
vs. Bump & Run and Cleo Looks – All out routes turn into fades
vs. Bump & Run and Cleo Looks – All post routes turn into out routes
vs. Man Coverage – All curl and in routes turn into out routes

Route 1 – Slant (Break is made at 6 yards)
Route 2 – Quick Out (Break is made at 8 yards)
Route 3 – Hitch (Break back is made at 9 yards)
Route 4 – Pressure Out (Break is made at 14 yards)
Route 5 – Slide (Break is made at 7 yards)
Route 6 – Choice Out (Break is made at 17 yards)
Route 7 – Choice Post (Break is made at 13 yards)
Route 8 – Post (Break is made at 20 yards)
Route 9 – Corner (Break back from Route 8 is made at 23 yards)
Route 10 – Go and Fade
Route 11 – Cross and Square In (Break from Route 5 is made at 27 yards)
Route 12 – Switch (Break from Route 5 is made at 28 yards)

W and Y Receiver Routes
Route 1 – Flat
Route 2 – Switch (Continues off Route 1)
Route 3 – Streak
Route 4 – Flag (Continues off Route 1 and Break is made at 16 yards)
Route 5 – Post (Continues off Route 3 and Break is made at 16 yards)
Route 6 – Drag/Hot (Break made at 4 yards)

S Back Routes
Route 1 – Screen
Route 2 – Swing
Route 3 – Flat (Continues from Route 1)
Route 4 – Delay (Block then move up to inside zone area)
Route 5 – Drag
Route 6 – Hook (Continues from Route 1. Break back made at 6 yards from line of scrimmage)
Route 7 – Rim (Continues from Route 1. Also known as a wheel route)

Handling Safety Blitz
On 60 and 90 series pass plays, the X and Z receivers must find the safety on their side. The “sight adjust” will be a slant if the corner is playing off or a fade if the corner is playing bump and run. No “sight adjust” if the W or Y receiver is on a flat route towards the side of the pattern.

Uncovered Receiver Signals
A hot call by the receiver with the QB recognizing visually and making the throw or the receiver will grab his facemask with the QB recognizing visually and making the throw.

S Back’s Role if QB Scrambles. X and Z’s routes if QB Scrambles.
S Back is to move in the direction that the QB is scrambling, right or left.

If the QB is scrambling towards, the X/Z receiver changes most routes to a Go/Fade route. An X/Z receiver on a Choice Post, Corner, Cross, Switch route will instead change to a Hook route. If the QB is scrambling away, the X/Z receiver changes all routes to a Drag route.

Basic Rules for all Receivers
Release – Get off the line quickly and try to avoid contact as much as possible. Any physical contact can disrupt the route.
Hot Call – Receiver will make the call in blitz situations by waving hand and screaming “Hot!”
Hook Up Signal – If the opposing DB is giving the short plays or receiver can’t beat DB deep, receiver can throw an arm up and change a Go/Fade into a Hook route.
Perfect Position – When possible, cut back “across” the DB’s face (i.e. force the DB to roll their shoulders and turn). If running a Go/Fade and the DB is in perfect coverage, the receiver has the option of cutting back towards an open area.

Additional Receiver Notes
1: Always read the alignment of CB, S, and LB before the snap. Look for a tip off to what coverage you’re facing.
2: Find out how the DB covers you in relation to the sideline and adapt to it or force the DB to alter it.
3: Always know your position relative to the sideline/goal line/end zone but focus on the catch first.
4: Study the tendencies of each DB and Secondary. Do they play loose or bump & run? Do they gamble a lot? Do they line up inside or outside of your body? How fast are they and know when they start to slow down on Go/Fade routes.
5: Run every single play at absolute full speed. Always expect the QB to throw the ball in your direction.
6: Vary the release you get off the line of scrimmage when going outside, straight ahead, or inside.
7: Change of Direction during the “weave” (i.e. in between the release and break of your route) should be made in a N/S direction and never E/W unless you’re breaking.
8: Vs. Man Coverage fake the man and not the area. Get as close as possible and force the DB to move/react.
9: Vs. Zone Coverage think position and try to find an open area rather than faking the DB.
10: Never shorten the designated depth of the route on a break.
11: When you’ve beaten a DB, be aware of holding/tackling. Separation is imperative!
12: Try to catch the ball in stride and run through the ball.
13: Attack the ball and prepare yourself for a hit whenever the ball is caught.

Play Designs
50 Pass Series – QB has a 2 or 3 step drop. Quick pass game. S Back reads LB on call side of play. If LB comes, block him. If LB drops back, run designed route. On even numbered plays, the Y receiver has a free release and W receiver has a check (block first) release. On odd numbered plays, the Y receiver has a check release and W receiver has a free release.
60 Pass Series – QB will roll out towards the right side.
460 and 461 Pass Series – Designed SBack or W/Y receiver screen plays. QB is to sell play as if a 60/61 pass play.
900 Pass Series – What is termed as pick plays. Involves the W/Y receiver forcing the MLB/ILB to set a “pick” against own SLB/SOLB.
84-85 Run Series – SBack goes on a designed inside dive.
88-89 Run Series – SBack goes on a designed outside stretch play.
80-81 Run Series – SBack goes on a designed draw play. QB is to sell play as if 60/61 pass play.
74-75 Run Series – SBack goes on a designed counter trey play. Aimed inside tackle.
18-19 Run Series – Speed Option plays with QB pitching to SBack.

The Choice (Option) Route
Usually a route concept assigned to a single receiver in a given play. It generally offers the receiver the option of 2 different routes to take, depending on the play of the opposing DB.

The Switch Route
Usually a route concept assigned to two receivers who “cross” each other forcing the opposing DB to catch up or switch coverage designation.

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